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Transparency Theatre: starring the PPP

There is never a week in Guyana that passes without some startling revelation about governance that leaves the more perceptive citizens in shock and awe. Actually, the Guyana government and its affiliated entities lead the way in producing the most absurdities that are not only disrespectful to the Guyanese people, but severely highlights the arrogance of the officials involved. Sometimes one might be led to believe that the government and its various affiliates compete to excel at being the most ludicrous.

The most worrying development in all this administrative decadence is that the opposition continues its laissez-faire attitude to politics as the government heaps scorn on the Guyanese people through its blatant disregard for transparency. Secret deals, unaccountability and cover ups are sadly the hallmarks of modern Guyanese governance.

Recently the media reported that the government sold its 20 percent share in Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T). Apparently a Chinese firm is willing to pay USD 30M for those government shares. Whether or not this was a sound business decision by the government, Guyanese will never know because it was done in secret. Such was the level of secrecy that the CEO of GT&T was on record in the media expressing his surprise at the revelation of this transaction.

Once again, Guyanese are witnessing the ugly display of arrogant governance by the PPP-led Guyana government, as it dispenses with national assets and interests as it sees fit without consultation. Yet the very PPP leadership and its hapless minions daily pontificate their perceived transparency and commitment to good governance.

Guyanese need a government that is serious about accountability; one that is transparent in all its dealings; not one that is adept in transparency theatre. People are tired of the political shenanigans where information is either leaked by a person in a government organisation or discovered by a journalist. Then a government official preferably the Head of the Presidential Secretariat comes out and fiercely denounces, denies and criticizes the media for carrying the information, only to later contrive the most asinine of explanations in a feeble attempt at clarification.

The opposition needs to be more proactive and loudly voice its disapproval on the most important issue of good governance. After the majority of Guyanese voted for change on November 28, 2011 it appears to be business as usual in politics. From all indications, it seems as if the PPP will continue to do as it likes with the financial assets of the Guyanese people and no one or nothing will stop them.

It has been written before in this column that Guyana’s national assets are not the private property of the governing elite. Therefore if the Guyana government intends to negotiate investment deals with interested parties on behalf of the people of Guyana, then the Guyanese people must be informed of such pending transactions.

The recent secret trading of government shares in GT&T with a Chinese Company is just another of the many secret deals that the Guyana government continues to perpetrate. An immediate stop must be put to this reckless and dangerous action. There must be a parliamentary examination of all the secret deals that Guyana government has entered into with investors.